More BISD drama: Residents obtain TRO to stop events center

David Yates Nov. 1, 2010, 10:24am

Hoping to stop the Beaumont Independent School District from constructing a hotel and events center near its new football stadium, three locals filed an injunction request in Jefferson County District Court.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, issued a temporary restraining order against BISD on Oct. 27, the same day the petition was filed by Beaumont residents Sonny Sherman, Chester Sherman and Michael Neil.

During an Oct. 21 board meeting, BISD Superintendent Dr. Carrol Thomas proposed the plan, believing it would continue the district's vision for the new athletic complex, currently named the "Carroll A. 'Butch' Thomas Educational Support Center," off Interstate 10, court papers say.

The plaintiffs' petition states the land, according to the 2007 bond election, can only be used for the construction of new school buildings.

The plaintiffs allege BISD misled voter in 2007 by not declaring that they intended on building an events center and hotel with taxpayer money.

They further claim the athletic complex has already "ballooned" over budget by $15 million.

According to media reports, the board gave Thomas authorization to start the search for developers.

Judge Floyd granted the TRO request on the grounds that the bond issue approved by voters could only be used for school buildings, ruling that a hotel is not a school building.

The next hearing on the matter is slated for Nov. 16.

Beaumont attorney Michael Getz is representing the plaintiffs.

Getz previously represented the Beaumont Heritage Society in an unsuccessful fight against BISD to stop the district from tearing down South Park Middle School.

BISD is represented by Beaumont attorney Melody Chappell.

Case No. E188-690

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